Food is a repository of our most cherished memories. It connects us through time and space and memory unlocking the keys to our heritage. It carries us back to our childhood. To large family dinners, of tables overflowing at Christmas, Easter, birthdays. It binds us to the lands that we are no longer the masters of. Recipes carried across cities and deserts and continents, handed down from one generation to another are vessels of a family’s traditions and customs even when they are altered, adapted and molded to new realities. This month’s issue entitled “Tastes and Memory” is not simply about food or recipes, it’s about identity and the stories that are woven into the fabric of our collective memory.
How an orphan from the Armenian Genocide returns to his native village and finds his sister and a recipe for eech that has become part of the family lore.
Christian Armenian lore traces the origins of harissa to Gregory the Illuminator, who converted King Tiridates III to Christianity at the beginning of the 4th century. Hranoush Dermoyan traces the history of this traditional Armenian dish.
A traditional cheese bread made with sourki or shinklish called banderoum hootz in the dialect of Musa Ler is more than a recipe. It’s a memory, a cultural marker of identity, belonging and home.
Preparing food can be a meditative journey of self-healing, of building community and a passage to one’s heritage. It is the whispered world of women, a value created out of patience that can transform onions into translucent golden particles.